Melissa Johnson – Nyuki Management Consulting | March 2019

Melissa Johnson, 38, is an awesome entrepreneur originally from Alicedale. She has been married for 14 years and has 3 children. She comes from a family of 6, with 4 siblings and her parents. She has 6 years of customer care experience, both in person and on the phone. She has achieved a little bit of each of the dreams in some way or another.  She always wanted to be a flight attendant. She never got that far but for a year and a half, she got to work at the airport. She believes that her kids are her greatest achievement.   


She was motivated to apply for the after the Startup Women networking night where she saw how excited the RLabs Women were about what they had to offer.


When asked to imagine herself on a beach somewhere dreaming, she said she imagines herself on a beach in Mauritius thinking about how many people she has employed through her business and the people that she has helped.  


“That would be one of my dreams. Just sitting there and knowing that I’ve done some good.” – Melissa 


Her parents were always helping other people and that was their lifestyle. That’s how she grew up. Her parents always had community-driven initiatives and ideas but they never saw them as businesses. They didn’t think of “fancy” entrepreneurship words. 


When asked what gives her the most satisfaction, she spoke about the fact that she gets to help people. For her, it’s not just about her business but more about helping people and to give the opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have access to. 


The purpose of her business, Nyuki Management Consulting, has 2 components: helping people to register their businesses and providing a co-working space for people who need it. With the first component, Melissa wants to assist people to get their businesses registered, the necessary SARS documents, and BEE certificates. The first component basically deals with all the paperwork that makes a business function. The 2nd component is a business hub that provides people with access to a workspace with wifi and space to have meetings. She is hoping to market the hub as a membership with month to month options for people needing space short-term. 


She was inspired to start her business because she had no one to coach or mentor her or make sure that she was on the right track. She wants to be these things for other people.


What sets her business apart? When she invites people into her space, she won’t just leave them there. She wants to offer mentorship as well. She wants to join people on their journey, whatever it may be. Her heart is in it and she wants to be there for people. 


The Sustainable Development Goals she is addressing are SDG 5 to achieve equality and empower all women and girls, and SDG 8 to help promote sustained inclusive economic growth.


Melissa’s short term goal is to start doing the registration of businesses as soon as possible. She wants to start the business hub within 6 months and her ultimate goal of having big space for her business hub with a coffee shop and photo gallery with rustic frames to promote local photographers. 


Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is to do research on your competitors and to find out what you need to do. “If you are working, don’t quit your job immediately. First, do everything that you need to do,” she says. She advises that if after 6 months to a year of business going well, then consider leaving your job. She wants aspiring entrepreneurs to figure out who their target market is and to make sure that you trust the people who you tell your idea to.


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